In the midst of the civil rights movement and the Vietnam war, just after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy, this was viewed as a puzzling move by an artist who just five years earlier was soundtracking the protest era with The Times They Are a’Changin’.
Yes, I am in fact talking about The Dude, here. If anybody is qualified to steal the spotlight from Bob Dylan on a Dylan Weekend, it’s Jeffrey Lebowski.
Thanks to The Dude —and his creators, the Coen Brothers — the other best-known track on New Morning is ‘The Man in Me,’ which played over the opening credits of The Big Lebowski.
Just four months after Self Portrait left Bob Dylan’s fan and the critical community scratching their collective heads, he released an album that pretty much quieted the storm. New Morning was a simple, warm album that marked the return of Dylan as a songwriter and, even more important, the return of Dylan’s trademark voice.
For all of the complaints about Dylan’s lack of vocal ability, it’s funny how a couple albums of his much smoother country croon had people longing for the nasally whine.